Friday, April 2, 2010

Om This: A Yoga Challenge

Recently I've been doing more yoga. A lot more, actually. Especially when you consider how much yoga I've done in previous months (none). Back in November I shared that I was getting back into a regular practice, the promptly abandoned my efforts.

In the past couple of weeks, though, yoga has crept back into my life. I did not plan this, it just happened. All of a sudden I found myself doing regular yoga podcast classes from Dave Farmar, YogaDownload, Eoin Finn, and more. What's more, I've been enjoying these full-on 60 to 90 minute flows-come-glorious sweat sessions. I think I've managed to get on my mat every day for the past week or so, and it's left me feeling more centered, limber, and strong than I have in a long time -- or perhaps ever. It's a different kind of strength than that involved in running a race or climbing a mountain or hefting bales (I've done all three more than once). Yoga strength, for me, goes deeper and seems to seep into the core of my body and my mental well-being. I'm starting to think that everybody should do more yoga.

You'll understand my delight at the synchronicity that led Emily from YogaDownload to contact me with a generous offer for you, my amazing readers. I wanted to share yoga, and now I can -- I am giving away one free elite membership to YogaDownload's online yoga classes! This will provide unlimited access to YogaDownload's huge range of quality (and I really do endorse them) audio and video classes, normally worth $89.95 US.

Before I get to the details on how to win this fabulous prize, I want to issue a yoga challenge. Throw down the gomukhasana gauntlet, if you will. Join me in getting on the mat for any kind of yoga practice -- daily. The beauty of this challenge is that it can mean many different things. Perhaps you'll do an hour-long class, or maybe you'll partake of one of many 10-20 minute yoga classes available free online. Maybe you will meditate/pray, or devote a few moments to chair yoga at work. I enjoy getting yoga teacher Katrina Ariel's free breathing exercise in my inbox each morning. Yoga can mean so many things!

Are you with me? Will you commit to practicing yoga (whatever that might mean to you) every day for the next seven days? I'll be posting my progress here, and I hope that you'll join me. It will be fun!

Back to the contest. To enter, simply comment below with a response to this question: How do you think a regular practice is (or can be, for those who don't do yoga regularly) valuable to you?

After you do that, you can also earn entries by doing one or more of the following (1 entry per extra, and be sure to comment when you've done one):
  1. Follow Kitchen Courage on Facebook or via Google/Blogger (widgets to the right).
  2. Subscribe to the Kitchen Courage feed.
  3. Tweet! Post this via your Twitter account: Om This! Take the #yoga challenge to win a free @YogaDownload membership! @betherann
  4. Link to this post on Facebook.
  5. Post a link to the challenge and giveaway on your blog.
  6. Do yoga everyday for the next week (April 3-10), and comment here each day with your daily yoga venture. (Yep, that means 7 entries for participants in the Om This challenge!)
I will announce the randomly selected winner on Sunday, April 11.

In the meantime, enjoy another YogaDownload treat. From now through April 5, get 35% off your entire YogaDownload order with the coupon code KitchenCourage. Thank you, Emily!

Get your entries in! You, too, can experience the fun and funky bliss of a daily yoga practice, just like me:

Unless, of course, you value your dignity. Yoga can be fun without acting like a goof, I promise.

On on unrelated note -- did you know that today is Good Friday? Today Christians remember Jesus' crucifixion and death. In foodie-land, that could very well translate to hot cross bun day.

Happy almost-Easter, and happy yoga-ing!

Updated to add a participant icon. If you use it, please link back to this page. Thank you!


  1. Just found you by way of the hooping video on and loved it! Way to go, hooper! :)

  2. the video was how to hoop like a white girl! :)

  3. I'm up for a challenge- I'll let you know how day one goes!Katherine

  4. Yesterday was a little bit of a 10 min squeeze while I was babysitting and I got a little distracted by the meditation over body position. Overall, good experience for my brain though (my body doesn't feel much difference)Katherine

  5. Good luck with your challenge! Thank you for sharing with Friday Firsts this week! Sorry I'm a little late in checking it out! :)

  6. I did mind yoga yesterday and only did a few poses before just surrendering to sleep. It's hard to make yoga a priority over cardio!

  7. i'm up for the challenge!

  8. i love yoga as it helps me focus on breathing and letting

  9. I also subscribed to you blog via rss :)

  10. I have gotten more laid back in real life and on my mat :)Yoga also calms my mind and body... I feel better overall!

  11. Last night I forwent cardio to do yoga and definitely slept better! stressful day; great unwinding! Katherine

  12. Last night: great PM yoga time after 5 hours of class+studying after straight. Very relaxing... I don't know if it was really "yoga" though, I may have invented some poses. KatherinePS: forewent cardio again and it was a good choice. Thank you for your comment; I'm surprised I actually would rather relax than sweat for a change!

  13. afternoon yoga today; weather gloomy, body streachy :) Katherine

  14. How regular yoga practice is valuable to me? Here's my answer in short, haha:Regularity enables structure. Without structure in my life, I find myself wasting time, not accomplishing much, and living in a more confused state as I'm not focused. With structure everything falls into its place more easily. I can monitor my physical, mental and spiritual progress each day as I have the previous day, week or year to compare with. I am more aware of what is worthwhile and stay focused on that. As a result I am peaceful and more of me can be engaged in practical spirituality, which for me is what it's all about.

  15. Doing yoga while the kid I'm babysitting is watching Max and Ruby. If you don't know the song, don't listen to it...

  16. yesterday I did yoga for 90 minutes and it was amazing! I always go to yoga classes on tuesday and saturday. Tuesday there are two classes and saturday is one class, but otherwise there are no yoga classes at my gym (yet!)

  17. Yesterday I did so much more mental, meditative yoga than ever. I really focused more on calming my mind than on my body and I think my muscles relaxed as a reaction. It was a great feeling. I am so glad you did this challenge (PS: thanks for the shout-out in the other post too!) Katherine

  18. So glad I found your blog! A yoga challenge is a great idea...and even though I'm coming in at the end, I will definitely be doing yoga every day now :) I'm also following you on Facebook, and shared this blog! *hugs*


"I am glad you are here with me."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King